Shannon LaufferDean of Retention & Student Support Services
I stepped into my first art room in 2007, lugging my methods textbooks, studio supplies from undergrad, and a slew of lesson planning books. I was 21 and ready to change the world. I was the only art teacher in my district and split my part-time role across two schools. A real-life “art teacher on a lonely island,” I was starving to grow and learn.
I went back to school for special education, which helped me better understand all my students and made me more marketable. I loved it, but I couldn’t hack the after-school commute, so I started looking for online graduate courses.
I discovered The Art of Education. I was already an avid blog reader and decided to try out a course. I took one and was hooked. Fast-forward a couple of years later, I’d taken almost every AOE course, finished my master’s +30, and was the lucky recipient of an email that changed my trajectory. “The Art of Ed is hiring.” In what felt like a dream, I joined the AOE faculty.
In 2015, seven art rooms and nine years of teaching later, I packed up my textbooks and art supplies, scrawled a note to my successor, and left the art room to join AOE full-time. As the dean of student services of what’s now AOEU, I help other art teachers find the relevant graduate work I found years ago. I’m passionate about helping art teachers learn more, earn more, advocate for themselves, and believe in themselves. I love helping teachers push against the stereotypes of art teachers and the status quo of art education. I believe that art teachers deserve community, camaraderie, and collaboration that their schools sometimes can’t afford them. I am honored to serve as one tiny piece of the puzzle that helps art teachers who are starving to grow and learn.
What do I do when I’m not working? I have two darling, well-fed cats and a blue parakeet named Paige, who loves to say, “You’re so pretty cute!” I’m working on my doctorate and want to live in every city I visit.
Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Northcentral University, La Jolla, CA | Anticipated Graduation 2023
Master of Arts in Teaching
Morningside College, Sioux City, IA | Graduation 2015
Graduate Studies in Special Education
Kean University, Union, NJ | Certificate of Completion 2011
Bachelor of Science in Art Education
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN | Graduation 2007
Voices for Any Given Child Indy: The Arts Give Students a Voice, 2016
Team Member of the Year, 2019BACK to our team